From the very beginning, Gilberto Valle’s trial challenged both jurors and casual observers to determine whether the former NYPD cop’s intent to cook and eat other humans amounted to an authentic, sinister plot or pure fantasy.
Elizabeth Valle, the so called “cannibal cop’s” mother, dashed out of federal court Tuesday in a blur of disbelief.
“I’m in shock,” she uttered as she walked out of the courthouse.
Her son Gilberto Valle had just been found guilty of conspiring to kidnap women — toward an alleged goal of cooking and eating them.
“The case involved thoughts that were unusual, bizarre, and frankly very ugly. And we think the jury just couldn’t get past that,” said defense attorney Julia Gatto.
The jury deliberated for some 16-hours stretched over four days as they weighed the delicate differences between thoughts and conspiracy.
Valle put together dossiers on the women he also tracked, and trolled the darkest fringes of the internet looking at disturbing images and talking to other people who shared his interest in human cuisine.
“I’m sure Mr. Valle was crying. I was certainly crying. It was very hard to hear. It was very hard, and we truly believe in his innocence,” said Gatto.
But – here’s the kicker and possibly what pushed jurors toward arriving at guilty verdict: Valle accessed a federal law enforcement database to conduct research on one of his
targets, while he was on duty.
Defense attorney Ron Kuby told PIX11, “Unfortunately, in a case like this, where the facts are so twisted, and the fantasy so perverse, the jury decides better safe than sorry. It may have been a fantasy crime, but the jail sentence will be real time.”